On our way West, we stopped twice to hike in the tundra, above the tree line. The first hike was along an old Ute (Native American) pathway through the mountains. A sign informed us that the trail had probably been there thousands of years.
|Allen just starting on the trail. You can see the very small people up on the peak. We went MUCH further, all the way around that peak and the next one.|
|I took a picture of the truck from the top of the first peak. It is the red dot in the center of this picture.|
|We think this might have been used by the Ute on their travels through the mountain.|
About halfway through this hike, we came to a snow fied. It looks nice and packed and solid and flat.
Until you fall through up to your knees!!! Allen did this on accident the first time, then I made him get back down in his tracks for a picture, then as he was struggling to get out and I was laughing hysterically at him, I fell through also. We didn't get a picture of that. ;)
We estimate that we walked about 3 miles to a peak and back. There weren't many people on the trail at the beginning, and by the end, we were all alone, high up in the mountains. It is incredibly quiet up there. We really knew we were alone when we started looking for other hiker's footprints. The trail is only a foot wide, so it would have been easy to see them, but there were none. Remember, the pass had been closed, so we may have even been the first ones out that far on the trail this season! It took about 2 hours, and at the amount of oxygen that is available at that altitude, we were tired! But the views were astounding. I took a 360 degree stitch asist picture with my camera, so hopefully we can get that printed and show everyone when we get home. We also took a few minutes and just rested at the peak, eating avacado and salami sandwiches and taking in the scene.
The other trail we hiked was much shorter, about 1 mile total, but the grade was steep and most of it was covered in slushy snow. It was a workout! But worth the beautiful views at the top.
On the way down our side of the mountains we stopped at a lookout and ate a snack. A chipmunk came up asking for a bite, and it was so tame it actually put its front paws on my lap! You're not supposed to feed the wild animals, but it was so hard not too, I mean, this guy really wasn't wild at all! We didn't get a picture of him because we didn't want to scare him away, but he really was sweet.
We are exhausted tonight! But so happy! Its not windy! Hurrah! We are hanging out in our camper, stomachs full of cheddar bratwurst and beans, listening to a neighboring camper's music. Its perfect.